Beware of Red

Red Dye 40, that is.

Last summer one of my best friends, who happens to be a bartender, offered to make me a Shirley Temple. I hadn’t had one in years, because I rarely drink any soda – y drinks. I said why not, drank it, then went home to bed a couple hours later. Except, I couldn’t go to sleep.

My eyes started burning and tearing, I couldn’t open or close them without wanting to rip them out. I was clearly having a reaction to something. I live on a street where there happen to be hospitals on either end and while contemplating taking myself to the ER because neither of my roommates were home, I finally fell asleep. The next morning, I thought it was bizarre but didn’t put much thought into it.

That day at work one of my coworkers, oddly enough, was drinking yet another Shirley Temple. He made me one I went on with my day, though I was still a little shocked with myself that I had two Shirley’s in the past day  – odd for me.

Once again, I went home that night and wanted to RIP my eyes out. Burning, tearing, it was horrible. The next morning I made a list of all the things I ate in the past two days, the only thing out of the ordinary were the Shirley Temple’s. I couldn’t figure out which of the ingredients I was having a reaction to, so I decided to do an experiment. I ate half a Twizzler, because Twizzlers and Shirley Temple’s both have Red Dye #40. Red Dye is in the grenadine maraschino cherries, and just like I thought I had the same reaction to the Twizzler. Turns out, I’m allergic to Red Dye.

Someone told me that every 7 years a woman’s body changes. I hadn’t previously had reactions to anything with Red Dye, but I am going to be 21 this summer and on my third “7 year cycle”.

To conclude, this is just a personal example of the negative effects of artificial dye in food. I like to eat as organic and natural as possible, so these dye’s really don’t fit into my diet. All it’s doing is adding chemicals to your body and I’m not really about that. Below is a great article linking artificial dye’s and their negative side effects, written by Lisa from All Natural Ideas. Be sure to check it out. 




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